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My alcoholic mother is being made homeless. I've distanced myself but had a call for help.wwyd?

(104 Posts)
BriansBrain Tue 18-Jun-13 20:12:27

I've had a thread on here before about what a nightmare my mother has been in the past due to her ill health and alcholism and received lots of support.

Sad to say I'm back again.

I'm married with DC, full time career and moved away from my/our home town 15 years ago because as selfish as it sounds she is such hard word, lying, threatening suicide, lying. I couldn't take to any more.

We used to speak on the phone but she would tell me constant lies.

The house was unkept to the point where I couldn't visit with DC because of the smoke and alchol and general state of it all.

She would be hospitalised, I refused to visit every time because nothing changed.

I know I sound selfish but I like to think of it as protective of my little family.

No dad, grandparents just me and then my mothers sister who lives hours and hours away.

She lost her house and the last I heard she was doing fine in residential care and waiting for assisted housing (all of these words are new to me and mean nothing) I have text but not had any replies or just "I'm fine" replies.

Mothers sister calls today, mum is suicidal and the assisted housing has fallen through,social services have said she needs to leave residential and offered her a flat with no assistance and in an area she doesn't want to live in.

She is saying no so SS are saying its the flat or homeless your choice.

Sister wants me to swoop in. And save the day because mother is rock bottom again

Sorry it's so long and I've kept it bullet point to keep my emotions out because I have had this for many many sad years since a child myself and every is great and now this.

I k ow this is my mother but I can't let the DC k ow what's going on, youngest doesn't even know who she is.

I'm going to finish putting DC to bed and hope someone an help me figure out what I am going to have to do.

olgaga Tue 25-Jun-13 00:11:08

I've been through something similar and sadly you have to turn away. Your responsibility now is to your own family.

You might find that some counselling.might assist you. You are grieving for the mum you never had. You are obviously a caring person and these unreasonable, emotional demands from other members of your mum's family must be hard to face.

But they are certainly unreasonable and you have every right to put your own family's needs first.

something2say Mon 24-Jun-13 23:40:52

Well done bb x
An amazing read. Glad you stood by your guns.

BriansBrain Mon 24-Jun-13 23:24:10

grin @ personal Rottwieler

I'm going to choose shot & guilty + peaceful life please.

34DD Mon 24-Jun-13 23:18:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

34DD Mon 24-Jun-13 23:16:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BriansBrain Mon 24-Jun-13 23:15:23


Working, that is how I feel.

I am hapy. She has somewhere to start again but it makes no difference to me now.

I wish her well, I wish her happiness and I wish her sobriety but none of this impacts on my life.

I struggle to reply when she very never sends me a message because I don't want to give her false hope because we are done and nothing now or ever will change that because I have my DH & DC and they will always factor as high as my own mental well being without her will.

I appreciate all the support x

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Mon 24-Jun-13 23:12:47

Yes, it's good she's got somewhere to stay but don't get involved.

working9while5 Mon 24-Jun-13 23:08:11


My father is similar but I have no anger or entanglement at this stage. I don't believe it is a choice, it is illness and suffering to me.

I work hard on compassion... for me and the scars of my childhoo d but also for him. This doesn't involve speaking to or seeing him but I do mindfulness meditation where I send him love and kindness as a suffering human being.

I find this helps as I have no sense of needing to fix him now or respond. If he has a good few weeks and leaves a sober message I will speak to him but I have no pull to need him to be different or better. His life is a tragedy but it is not my tragedy. I feel for him like you might for a homeless person in a documentary and wish him well well without feeling personal pain at our relationship

There is nothing you need to do but heal.

BriansBrain Mon 24-Jun-13 22:01:38

Thank you Ton. Part of me thinks I should offer to help settle her in but I know it's best just to keep out of the way.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 24-Jun-13 21:57:43

Hand holding BB - she has a roof over her head, she will be fine. Glad your DH is around for support.

BriansBrain Mon 24-Jun-13 21:51:40

I received a text from my mum today to say she is moving in to a mobile home tomorrow.

I replied asking if it was through SS and she said her key worker had found it for her.

Apparently SS and the council "washed their hands with her" because she refused the flat they offered her because it would cost £175 per week + utilities.

I'm to sure how true that is and I haven't sent a second reply.

BriansBrain Sat 22-Jun-13 23:23:28

I've had no further contact and although Tuesday is still very much on my mind I am determined to keep out of it all.

Busy day today with parties etc and oldest DC really testing the boundaries hmm

Luckily DH has arranged a few weekends at home unexpected he is lovely, we have had our ups and downs but he does have my side.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Fri 21-Jun-13 07:55:59

Well done OP, glad this thread is of use. You are absolutely doing the right thing and your DH sounds lovely.

JustinBsMum Fri 21-Jun-13 07:44:06

Personally I wouldn't get into a debate about what SS will or won't provide. You should really just cut ties as recommended above - this means you will have to live with the consequences. But some counselling might help you come to terms with this. The consequences won't be your fault but entirely your mother's but you could still be left feeling guilty.
It's pointless debating around your mother about her care as she might go along with things, might not, might jump under a bus or might stop drinking, none of you can influence this, it's up to her.
Tell Aunt you have done what you can over the years but now have a family of your own and, sorry, but you won't be involved any more.
(daughter of lifelong alcoholic father here)

stepmooster Fri 21-Jun-13 05:57:46

Hi OP, I don't think you will regret your decision to keep out of it if the worse were to happen. Well meaning folk who spout this rubbish tend to have no perspective of what it's like to go through this kind of hell. Just politley ignore them. When my mother died I was upset of course, but more at the fact that she wasted her life on drink and had done it to herself. I did grieve also for the what could/should have been that never was. I think someone upthread said that it was an immense relief for them when their mother passed away, I can certainly see where they are coming from. I also tend to think my mother is resting in peace now as she was a very troubled soul.

I made it quite clear to my mother that she could become part of my life again, and that meant a lot of hard work and effort on her part and not just saying, "i'm off the booze, come visit me." She had to earn my trust.

I would have thought if your mother was genuinely taking steps to recovery she would be accepting the help of social services and making some very good efforts to get back in your life. Such as regular and remembered letters/cards for your families birthdays/christmas.

I think I got one card in 5 years from my mother, no letters/emails of apology acceptance of her alcoholism. The only texts or calls I got were when she wanted something.

It's up to your mum to make the effort, not you.

Bogeyface Fri 21-Jun-13 00:09:57

if ss can dump on family they will

Sad but true, usually because the "service" in place for a particular vulnerable section of society is underfunded and cant help anywhere near the amount of people that need it.

My mum was literally on the verge of a nervous breakdown and had to write to SS stating that she and her sister were no longer prepared to care for my ill grandparents before SS would do anything. Both my GP needed residential care, but because my mum and aunt were doing the caring, they were happy to let that continue as it didnt further overburden the services that were already stretched. What they didnt know is the my father, Uncle and I were also helping, and we were all stretched to the limit too. When they went into care (together), they were so much happier and my mum and aunt both spent several months each on medication for depression.

My mum and aunt wanted to care for them, but we couldnt give them what they needed and SS played on that guilt. I mean no disrespect at all to SW who I know to an incredibly hard job, "making a penneth o' lard last the week", but it took my mother crying over writing that letter for my GP to get what they needed.

DIddled Thu 20-Jun-13 23:14:56

2rebecca speaks wise words- if ss can dump on family they will. I mean no disrespect to social workers who I know are often horrendously overburdened, underpaid and I also know its a thankless job where alcoholics are involved. My mum had a very pleasant social worker but... Once we were involved he sought us out constantly- not that we could have helped.

Keep your determination BB - you are doing the right thing xxx

BriansBrain Thu 20-Jun-13 22:48:04

I've been a coward and still not answered the text but good news is I hàvent heard any thing further today.

Fantastic day at work today even though my day ran over and DH stepped up and did my turn to do the school run (3rd time this week!)

DC2 found a message on my phone from ages ago when my mother was last in hospital but I distracted her, goes to show she knows who she is but never asks to see her.

I thought today that I have nothing to gain from answering the text message and nothing to lose.

Every time it all entered my head today I had a sneak at this thread and was lifted straight back from doubt.

Another busy day tomorrow with a scary never done before task needing to be done, I think I'm surviving on the adrenaline and this thread

YellowTulips Thu 20-Jun-13 22:38:31

Good luck and best wishes OP thanks

2rebecca Thu 20-Jun-13 09:01:05

Another reason not to get involved is that it makes it easier for SS to disengage themselves as she has family looking after her so they don't need to.
The more you do, the less they will do, especially if your mother refuses alot of their help, so then you are left having to continue to do stuff. Plus if your mum turned her last flat into a hovel she's likely to repeat the pattern with her next flat and if it's your name on the lease/ your money in the deposit you are stuck with the repercussions of it.
It sounds as though your mum has never been inclined to help you when you needed help, and that the help you would need to give is open ended.
Yes she's your mother but she hasn't done much mothering from the sounds of things. if she had you'd be helping her.

BriansBrain Wed 19-Jun-13 22:58:12

I've had a lovely evening with DC, a little bit of one to one with each of them due to school choir event and just remembering that I want them to remember me for lots of good reasons.

I've spoken to DH but I think he is a bit scared to agree with me incase I regret it once she has gone (something that has been said in friend circles in the past)

I'm going to go with short and sweet and then deal with ignoring the fall out until they give up, I have nothing to give and nothing to gain from trying.

Thank you all so much.

tribpot Wed 19-Jun-13 22:44:28

You need to close this down with your aunt, and suggesting she might be trying to pull the wool over your eyes is just fuelling the drama and recriminations further. They are clearly angling for you to cough up for this bedsit for her.

YellowTulip's response is excellent, although for myself I would just send a shorter version "I am no longer willing to be involved in the repercussions of my mother's addiction. I am not able to help."

BriansBrain Wed 19-Jun-13 21:46:27

<weak> smile you are probably right.

YellowTulips Wed 19-Jun-13 21:38:54

I think 2r's last sentence sums it up perfectly

2rebecca Wed 19-Jun-13 21:25:15

She was offered a flat, it may not be her ideal flat but it's more than many people get offered and she could live there until somewhere she likes better comes along.
I don't see what the emergency is.
If she doesn't like the flat social services offer her then she has to sort out her own flat, same as everyone else who refuses a particular council house, you don't get to pick your favourite street.
If your mum is only 60 then her sister who won't have a young family is maybe the best person to deal with this and she has shown a great enthusiasm for involving herself in it.
I don't see what you can do. She may be entitled to housing benefit in a private let, your mum will have to sort that out with social services. If she's not drinking and doesn't have dementia she should be capable of sorting this out herself. if she wasn't capable of sorting it out herself she'd come under the "vulnerable adult" category and SS would have to help. If she has severe depression that might also fit into that category, although it sounds as though she's only suicidal because she isn't getting what she wants.
She just sounds stroppy and awkward and to be enjoying having people run round after her.

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